Often more than not public relations in the game industry is an extension of the art of game design (Thomsen 2009). Public relations sell audiences the existence of a world created to respond to their interactive needs. However, if used incorrectly can make consumers run from or resent the game.
Limitations and Scope and Analytical Framework
Like discussed in my project pitch, I will be focusing on the recent incident surrounding copyright with Borderlands 3 publisher, 2K Games. The incident that had private investigators sent to a YouTubers house with alleged copyright infringement (Alston, 2019). The claim was serious enough to prompt fans to take to Twitter and start a #BoycottBorderlands3 campaign (Byrd 2019) and is the overarching focus of my visual essay.
However, in order to develop an accurate and well-rounded understanding of the topic, I plan to conduct further research on the history of public relations in the game media. Looking at this I will use the example of Nintendo and their history and public relations as a comparative topic.
I will also use the topics below to guide the discussion of my visual essay:
To guide the discussion of my visual essay. However, it should be noted that I am still in the ideation process for my topic and the topics above are speculated and may be subject to change.
Weeks 4-6 – Research about my topic, gather as many secondary sources and look at multiple paratexts to gain a broad understanding of the issue of negative public relation in the gaming industry.
Week 7-9 – Start audience engagement, look at ways audiences will be attracted to my topic and form a platform for communication and discussion about the 2K Games topic and/or other topics related to copyright in the gaming industry.
Week 8-10 – Use audience feedback and develop a feedback loop. Construct my final project using paratexts, secondary sources, and personal ideas development through the 10 week period.
Throughout the course of my Digital Artifact, mainly through weeks seven to nine, I will be integrating content onto Twitter and Reddit. This content will be comprised of questions specifically about the Borderlands 3 and their publisher 2K Games incident and how their public relations ‘fixed’ the situation as well as broader questions and topics. These topics include and are not limited to the history of game media and copyright, public relations and its impact on the industry, other examples of PR having a negative effect on games and if these negative approaches from PR controlled the consumers purchasing power.
I am choosing to use Twitter as a platform to target students of BCM as well as other individuals interested in gaming, copyright or public relations by using the hashtags. Similarly, I also thought Reddit would be a good avenue to pursue conversation as it can branch to a wider audience. Overall, this will give me a broad sample size of ideas and thoughts that I can discuss in my final project.
Digital Artifact Format
Lastly, as discussed in my project pitch I plan to conduct my assessment in the form of a visual essay. However, depending on audience feedback I may switch to podcasts. In this case, I will do one every two weeks (4 podcasts in total) dividing my content into topics. These topics are listed below:
Below are some sources and points of reference that I aim to use throughout the course of my Digital Artifact journey.
Public Relations in the Game Industry
Brightman, J. (2017). How games PR can work more effectively with the media. [online] GamesIndustry.biz. Available at: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-10-18-how-games-pr-can-work-more-effectively-with-the-media [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].
Channon, C. (2019). Is it Game Over for traditional PR?. [online] GamesIndustry.biz. Available at: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-04-23-is-it-game-over-for-traditional-pr[Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].
Ferenchak, Z. (2019). PR in the Gaming Industry. [online] PRSA Content Connection. Available at: https://contentconnection.prsa.org/resources/articles/pr-in-the-gaming-industry[Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].
Borderlands 3 and Publisher 2K Games Incident
Alexander, J. (2019). 2K Games defends “necessary actions” against YouTuber who shared Borderlands 3 leaks. [online] The Verge. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/7/20758955/2k-games-borderlands-3-supmatto-defense-leaks-youtube [Accessed 12 Aug. 2019].
Alston, H. (2019). Borderlands 3 Publisher 2K Games Files Copyright Claims Against YouTube Creator For Using Publically Available Content. [online] Gaming news, reviews, guides and latest news updates for online, mobile and video games. Available at: https://happygamer.com/borderlands-3-publisher-2k-games-files-copyright-claims-against-youtube-creator-for-using-publically-available-content-21991/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].
Borderlands.com. (2019). Borderlands. [online] Available at: https://borderlands.com/en-US/[Accessed 7 Aug. 2019].
Muncy, J., Muncy, J., Parham, J., Watercutter, A., Watercutter, A., Ellis, E., Matsakis, L. and Rubin, P. (2019). 2K Games Probed YouTuber Over Alleged ‘Borderlands 3’ Leaks. [online] WIRED. Available at: https://www.wired.com/story/youtuber-borderlands-leaks/ [Accessed 6 Aug. 2019].
O’Connor, A. (2019). 2K sent hired goons to a YouTuber over Borderlands 3 info leaks. [online] Rock Paper Shotgun. Available at: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/08/08/2k-sent-hired-goons-to-a-youtuber-over-borderlands-3-info-leaks/ [Accessed 12 Aug. 2019].
Saed, S. (2019). Borderlands 3 publisher confirms sending private investigators after YouTuber over leaks – VG247. [online] VG247. Available at: https://www.vg247.com/2019/08/08/borderlands-3-supmatto-private-investigators-take-two-leaks/ [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].
Nintendo and Their Public Relations
Alexander, J. (2017). YouTubers are calling out Nintendo for its policy on streaming, uploads. [online] Polygon. Available at: https://www.polygon.com/2017/11/6/16612080/youtube-nintendo-super-mario-odyssey-demonetization [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].
Batchelor, J. (2019). Nintendo clamps down on YouTube game music channels. [online] GamesIndustry.biz. Available at: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-08-15-nintendo-clamps-down-on-youtube-game-music-channels [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].
Kaser, R. (2019). Nintendo seems to be striking its music off YouTube, and that sucks. [online] The Next Web. Available at: https://thenextweb.com/gaming/2019/08/14/nintendo-music-youtube-strikes/ [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].
Life, N. (2019). Nintendo Music Copyright Takedowns Intensify As Another Prominent YouTuber Gets Hit. [online] Nintendo Life. Available at: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/nintendo_music_copyright_takedowns_intensify_as_another_prominent_youtuber_gets_hit [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].
Marfo, N. (2019). PLAYING FAIR: YOUTUBE, NINTENDO, AND THE LOST BALANCE OF ONLINE FAIR USE. Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law, 13(2), pp.465-489.
Nintendo. (2019). Legal. [online] Available at: https://www.nintendo.com.au/legal [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].
Nintendo.com. (2019). Nintendo Copyright Policy. [online] Available at: https://www.nintendo.com/corp/copyright.jsp [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].
Ribaudo, N. (2017). Youtube, Video Games, and Fair Use: Nintendo’s Copyright Infringement Battle with Youtube’s Let’s Plays and Its Potential Chilling Effects. Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, 6, pp.114-138.
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